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Four inexpensive Pelikans, same great nib!


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11 replies to this topic

#1 ParkerBeta

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:28

I found that I had managed to acquire four inexpensive 'student' or 'beginner' Pelikan fountain pens with what appeared to be the same nib and section on all of them. So I took a closer look, and found that the nibs are indeed the same, but with some interesting differences too ... read on for details.

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From bottom to top: Pelikano 'Deep Space', Future, Level 1 (Level 65), GO (M75)

All of these pens have been individually reviewed elsewhere in FPN reviews, so this review is more a summary of their similarities and differences. Most importantly, they all have the same steel nib (in fact, all the pens here have an 'M' nib) and section. However, the tip of the Pelikano is larger than on the others, probably in order to allow novice users to write smoothly from a wider range of angles, and perhaps as a consequence, it writes wider than the others. The nibs on the Future and Level 1 are identical, while that on the GO is also the same, but gold-plated and has a couple of curves and the Pelikan logo in place of the plain 'M' on the other three.

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These pens cover the gamut of 'student'-level offerings from Pelikan. Each one offers (or at least emphasizes) a different way of filling.

The Pelikano is best used with cartridges only. In fact, as a post from Dillo says, the point of the Pelikano's feed that enters the cartridge is narrower than the usual, so that a cartridge used on another Pelikan will come loose when you attempt to fit it to the Pelikano (I have verified this with a cartridge from my Ductus). Similarly, if you insert a converter into a Pelikano, you should keep it there and not try re-inserting it into the Pelikano if you have previously used it on any other Pelikan. The section comes with an excellent textured grip with indentations for the user's fingers (I believe the indentations come in 'right-hander' and 'left-hander' versions).

The Future takes cartridges and converters, and mine came with a converter (in fact, the holes in the barrel are best suited for viewing ink level in a converter).

The Level 1 uses a unique filling mechanism with a needle being injected from a special ink bottle (sold with the pen, or separately) into the bottom of the barrel, such that when the (plastic) bottle is squeezed, the ink squirts out through the needle into the barrel. You may consider this simply a fancier method of ED filling, but the trick here is that the first reservoir into which the ink goes is merely the reserve tank. You then turn the valve at the bottom of the pen's barrel to draw some of this ink into a smaller main tank. Since the reserve tank's capacity is several times that of the main tank's, it is easy to keep the main tank full before undertaking a flight, say, so as to minimize the risk of leakage during the flight. Unfortunately, the Level 1 has been discontinued, though the ink bottles are still sold.

The GO is a piston-filler, which is probably why it merits the prestigious M-numbering of the Souveran series. Otherwise, it has nothing in common with even the lowliest Souveran, the M150. Of the four pens pictured here, the GO puts down the wettest line. Alas, the GO has also been discontinued.

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Whichever one you use, be assured that the nib is buttery smooth! They are all excellent writers, but I especially love the Level, as it's a little larger than the others and feels better balanced. However, the Pelikano 'Deep Space' looks very distinguished and is probably the best-looking of the lot. As I said above, the Level 1 and GO have been discontinued, so your only choices for an in-production student pen from Pelikan are the Pelikano Jr., Pelikano, and Future.

Edited by ParkerBeta, 03 January 2009 - 12:39.

S.T. Dupont Ellipsis 18kt M nib
Opus 88 Flow steel M nib
Waterman Man 100 Patrician Coral Red 18kt factory stub nib
Franklin-Christoph Model 19 with Masuyama 0.7mm steel cursive italic nib

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#2 youstruckgold

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 13:07

Great review! Well done.
The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher - Thomas Huxley
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#3 hari317

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 17:16

You have a really nice handwriting!
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#4 Sallent

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 06:15

Shame Pelikan has discontinued these student pens. At least we still have the Pelikano and the "Happy Pens." A Pelikan M150 is not too bad either. You should have reviewed one along with the group. They are pretty cheap, I have found them for around $40 USD.
Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

#5 Peter from Sherwood Park

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:15

Thank you for this review. It continues to amaze me that Pelikan can put this level of quality into their lowest price line of pens

#6 ParkerBeta

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:33

QUOTE (Dr Ozzie @ Jan 4 2009, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Shame Pelikan has discontinued these student pens. At least we still have the Pelikano and the "Happy Pens." A Pelikan M150 is not too bad either. You should have reviewed one along with the group. They are pretty cheap, I have found them for around $40 USD.


I actually own a burgundy Pelikan M150, which I bought on closeout for $37 a few years ago. However, I decided against including it in this comparative review, as I wanted to focus on pens with the same nib. The M150's nib is the same as that on the M200, and that is a different animal entirely. Also, these low-end Pelikans are excellently finished, but lack adornment, whereas the M150 is in every respect a Souveran, just like my M800, only smaller and lighter -- in other words, a supreme example of classical pen styling, with extraordinary attention to fit, finish, and detail.
S.T. Dupont Ellipsis 18kt M nib
Opus 88 Flow steel M nib
Waterman Man 100 Patrician Coral Red 18kt factory stub nib
Franklin-Christoph Model 19 with Masuyama 0.7mm steel cursive italic nib

#7 ParkerBeta

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:59

QUOTE (Peter from Sherwood Park @ Jan 4 2009, 11:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you for this review. It continues to amaze me that Pelikan can put this level of quality into their lowest price line of pens


Thanks! I guess re-using the same nib on many different pens helps them meet that low price point -- I bought the Pelikano, with a "Super Pirate" eraser/felt-tip pen, and a box of cartridges, for about $16! Still, the quality of materials used, and the fit and finish, can put considerably more expensive pens to shame. I'd give the Pelikano the edge in build quality over any comparably-priced (or even twice as expensive) Parker or Sheaffer today. Also, Pelikan deserves the highest respect for persevering with different filling mechanisms for their cheapest pens, and even inventing new ones like in the Level 1, in this day and age, when the universe of fountain pen users, at least at the school level, is steadily shrinking. [Or has this number held steady, at least in Germany? I'd be grateful for any information on fountain-pen use at the school level in Germany, or indeed anywhere in Europe. I know I wrote exclusively with a fountain pen during the nine months I spent at a school in Germany when I was nine -- but that was in 1979! BTW, the pen I used was a no-name one -- literally -- no name anywhere on it, and not a Pelikan, which my parents figured was a little too rich for a kid's first fountain pen. I haven't made that mistake -- my 4-year old son's first FP is the Pelikano 'Deep Space' featured in this comparison, so technically speaking, it isn't mine, but only borrowed from him for the purposes of this review smile.gif ]

Edited by ParkerBeta, 05 January 2009 - 08:03.

S.T. Dupont Ellipsis 18kt M nib
Opus 88 Flow steel M nib
Waterman Man 100 Patrician Coral Red 18kt factory stub nib
Franklin-Christoph Model 19 with Masuyama 0.7mm steel cursive italic nib

#8 Sallent

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 18:10

I heard most school kids in Germany still use FPs, though Lamy seems to be the favorite one now. Still, when going to college or for the first job, you bet most of these kids will be investing on a nice piston filler like a Pelikan M200 or M400
Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

#9 Neill78

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 06:14

QUOTE (ParkerBeta @ Jan 5 2009, 12:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The M150's nib is the same as that on the M200, and that is a different animal entirely.


The M150 nib is actually slightly smaller than that of the M200. It's safe to use an M150 nib in an M200 (and economical too), but not the other way around, as the M200 nib will get squished by the M150 cap.

Neill

#10 Marvin McMurphy

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 18:44

Today I bought two cheap Pelikan FPs: a Grand Prix and a Gallery.

I was surprised how big the difference between them was, the Gallery is a lot nicer to write with, I guess because it's wetter it has a nicer flow on the paper.

#11 ParkerBeta

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 19:09

Neill78,

Thanks for correcting my mistaken impression! I'd never noticed the difference between M150 and M200 nib sizes until I read your post. In fact, I made precisely the mistake you warned against, inserting an M200 OB nib into my M150! Fortunately, no harm seems to have befallen the nib.

Edited by ParkerBeta, 17 January 2009 - 19:12.

S.T. Dupont Ellipsis 18kt M nib
Opus 88 Flow steel M nib
Waterman Man 100 Patrician Coral Red 18kt factory stub nib
Franklin-Christoph Model 19 with Masuyama 0.7mm steel cursive italic nib

#12 Gran

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 18:06

Thank you for such an informative review! I appreciate it.
May you have pens you enjoy, with plenty of paper and ink. :)

Please use only my FPN name "Gran" in your posts. Thanks very much!






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